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tv   [untitled]    July 29, 2011 10:00pm-10:30pm PDT

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and underground parking, private athletic club facilities, and a park. the residential buildings would range in height from 48 feet to 136 feet, and with the underground parking would encompass approximately 575,000 square feet. the planning department prepared an environmental impact report for this project because it would have significant effects on the environment. the draft eir found that the proposed project would have a significant and unavoidable impact -- transportation impact under 2035 cumulative conditions and would also have significant and unavoidable impacts related to sea level rise and air quality. staff published the draft eir on july 15. june 15, i'm sorry. the public review will end on august 15. those who are interested in
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commenting on the draft eir in writing may submit comments up until 5:00 p.m. august 15 to the environmental review officer at the planning department at 1650 mission st., suite 400, said francisco. staff is not here today to answer questions. comments will be transcribed and responded to in writing, and -- in the comments and responses document, which will respond to all verbal and written comments received and make revisions to the draft environmental impact report as appropriate. commager's should speak slowly and clearly so that the court reporter can produce an accurate transcript. commager's should state their names and addresses so that they can be properly edified and received a copy of the response for comments document when completed. after hearing comments from the public, we will also take any comment on the draft eir from
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the commissioners. this concludes my presentation at this time. unless planning commission members have any questions, i suggest the public hearing be opened. commissioner miguel: thank you. i will be calling names as a group, but you can come up at any point if your name has been called. comment time will be the full three minutes. as you just heard, this has to do with the adequacy, accuracy, and completeness of the eir document, not the project comments themselves. that will come before the commission at a later date, all right? [reading names]
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>> i am here in my role as chair of the board of directors of california walks. i question the adequacy and completeness of this, and i will cite as an example the transportation section. especially page 35. it makes an amazing statement, that there will not be any safety problems because, "pedestrians have the right of way." the audience reaction is appropriate. there's laws against burglary, arson, theft, murder, and it still happens. i made that because it is not meant to be a joke, but to point out there was no real analysis. the statistics provided talk of two cars or six people per minute, which amounts to 120 cars or 360 people per minute. what they did not figure out was how many pedestrians are walking across the garage on average during that time frame.
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the california traffic devices control committee allows for a walking speed of 2.8 feet per second where seniors are present, which is everywhere. that is something that needs to be addressed. they say there is no danger to pedestrians, yet they also talk of the mitigation of an audible and visual device to alert pedestrians. if there is no danger, why have the device? and why is there not anything for car drivers coming out? you have to simply visualize the way underground garages are, that cars are coming up at an angle. there is often a central pillar between in an outbound. a driver coming out may not see somebody coming from the other side. there is often the fact that also drivers look across pavement while waiting for car traffic, when a lawyer, it means the sidewalk is block, which means the pedestrian has to go out into a curb or traffic lane
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or go down partly the ramp to get out of the car, or be stuck between and in bound and outbound car. here again, that is not responsive. they say there is no danger, but i'm also going to point out state law -- statewide integrated traffic control system does not record collisions that are not in the street. driveways and parking lots are exempt, so you do not know from state data how many pedestrians are injured at an entrance. that is why this is incomplete, under responsive, and reliable, and just that one section of simple facts on file in practice now that i'm going to say what else is wrong. the top of muni having additional services projected, but they maintain they will be the current indiana level service now, even though the exploratory well not come in. there will be more pedestrians, but they are not counting on that. but they are counting on the
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projection of possible new any extras. but that is unreliable. commissioner miguel: thank you. >> good afternoon. i am here representing a group called renew sf. we have been working on various projects in and around north beach. our largest project is a project to rebuild columbus avenue. but we have been embroiled in several other related projects all around the area. we have been watching the 8 washington square project since its inception, and one or other of our board members have been, i think, every public hearing. we note that the original project has been modified many times in response to community input. on our board, we have a number of world-class architects and planners who have looked at the
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project and at the eir and have voted unanimously to support the project based on the fact that the mitigating items far out weigh any potential negative impacts to the project itself. on that note, i think i will just summarize, i'm at 48 san antonio place in san francisco. commissioner miguel: thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. there are so many issues with this draft eir, but i will just talk about a couple and let the folks continue on. the things i want to talk about today are the talks about the
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project being transit-oriented. we have a statistic showing that the more people and, the less they use public transport. these apartments are going to start being sold at $2.5 million and go up, so we really do not believe it is a transit-oriented projects. the other thing is that they mentioned this helps me projected city housing needs. we are wondering how the official can know how a project at this price point is going to help with any sitting housing needs except for the extremely wealthy. the height limits were raised last year through an approval of the planning department's ne embarcadero steady, without any eir reviews, so that is a real question for us. the planning department's
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argument is that the city needs a solid wall of developmental on the embarcadero and that we need to allow this project to go through. it is a 136 height limit. this violates the city's urban design guidelines and the waterfront plans, so we are really questioning the ability once again of the. thank you very much. >> good afternoon. i am and activist representing thousands of people who are against this project. there is no need for an ill- conceived condo on this corner. it will block the historic view of fairy buildings. it violates the land-use recommendation from the department to connect the land
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to the waterfront. the base should be reviewed every five years. has not been. washington street is a bit -- busy section that cannot absorb traffic now, plus the cumulative effect of traffic from pier 2729 exploratory m, etc. the garage capacity will inevitably add to pedestrians. this is the wrong corner to put up a huge building as such. there is a new york times -- and "new york times" recent article making extreme efforts to discourage car use in cities. we should learn from them. and suddenly, i do not know if you know about this, but families are leaving the city by the droves because there is no affordable housing. the amount of affordable housing given on this project is
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peanuts. it will not solve anything. the sea level rise is another question. 136 feet is way out of the ball park. there are so many negatives there is nothing positive about this project. the very fact that the planning department has done an eir is grossly slanted toward the city. this should be done by an independent agency. i said that more than once. all the people who have taken time and effort to attend all the community meetings are against it. that is 99%. there are very few people who want this project. please take their advice. they know, they live there. i defeated a garage in fairy part because it was a foolish idea. this is the same thing over and over again. please do not vote for it.
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it would be a disrespect for the people and for the people you represent, and you are paid to represent the people. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i am the senior property manager of the ferry building. thank you for the opportunity to comment on this. for reasons i will review briefly, the draft eir is deficient because it fails to describe accurately critical fact and what -- ovitz or understate substantially potential impact of the project. for 10 years, eop has been a steward of the ferry building and responsible for restoring it. all the best the ferry building serve local residents, but it is a major draw to the city and major tourist destination. many patrons who shop at the marketplace must park near the ferry building.
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other patrons, including those with mobility challenges, are able to visit the ferry building only if successful parking is available nearby. from the onset, adequate parking is recognized as essential to make the renovation of the ferry building successful. that is why eop entered into the lease agreement. it insisted that the court make a parking agreement to enter parking for ferry building and tenants -- 4 ferry building tenants and patrons. parking agreement grants eop the exclusive right to control the entirety of seawall lot 351 for ferry building parking while reserving 10 unassigned spaces for parking forecourt vehicles and visitors. parking agreement provided additional spaces, but in 2008, the court closed that here for safety reasons. see what 351 is the most highly used parking area for the ferry building tenets and patrons due to its close proximity to the ferry building, the availability
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of parking validation, and it's easy access and visibility directly off the embarcadero. under the parking agreement, if the port provides the same number space is currently located at sea wall lot 351, then they may develop lot 351 as a parking facility to serve the very building area. the ability to take away the parking from eop is conditioned explicitly on the provision that they have equal parking that is temporary and permanent. the project proposed by san francisco waterfront partners that is the subject of this draft eir does not meet this criteria. problems include -- will be submitted comments, but we wanted to alert you to a few of the major deficiencies now. project description does not state accurately the facts about the parking agreement and the rights of the eop and obligations of the port. it's from the list of required approvals the obligation under
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the parking agreement to provide temporary and permanent replacements basis through the expiration of our crown leased and parking agreement in 2066. the most glaring omissions and inadequacies is analysis of transportation and parking impact -- [bell rings] commissioner miguel: thank you. that is that it? ok. commissioner miguel: you can submit, as in writing, and just to remind everyone, there is no commission vote today. this is just a hearing to take testimony on the eir. >> good afternoon. i am the director of the educational nonprofit that operates the ferry plaza farmers market at the ferry building. our comments are similarly address to the transportation component of the eir, specifically the section regarding parking, where we find
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that the data is out of date and restrictive in its scope. by its own description, most of the data dates to 2006 and 2007, only slightly after our farmer'' market had moved into the area. our business continues to grow each year. the number of customers accessing the area continues to grow, increasing demands on parking in the area. as noted in the eir, the pier half has disappeared, diminishing the total number of spots. there is one error that ashley is an increase. refers to the fact that 40 parking meters along washington street are used on tuesdays and saturdays by farmers' market vehicles. that is actually not the case. that is 20 spots only in
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emergency situations on saturdays only, so that is an update, but this also does not reflect the fact that not only is our business increasing, creating what a man, that there are other businesses in the area adding to that demand. bringing more patrons to the south of the ferry building. so in summary, we just want to point out that this particular section of the eir does not accurately represent the current level of use and perhaps more importantly, the current -- excuse me. getting ahead of myself year. does not represent the current level of actual available spaces and the ever-increasing
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demand that we anticipate will continue to have impact. so we want to ensure that this report clearly considers all the impact on parking when considering other planning that goes for the area, so thank you very much. commissioner miguel: thank you. [reading names] >> good afternoon, commissioners. i live at 2309 california street in san francisco. this is an area i'd go to regularly. most saturday mornings and occasionally during the week. i guess i have two comments. one is a very focused one. the report asserts that the view
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of quaker tower from the ferry building is not considered a significant view in the waterfront design and access element and therefore, the fact that this obscures this building means it is not significant. i would argue that we should consider the fact that perhaps the waterfront design and access element is deficient in that it failed to identify what is one of the significant use from the waterfront and from the embarcadero, which is quite power -- coit tower. in a more general approach, i think we have a fundamental problem in the way the eir's treat housing development. we are talking about housing development where the units are expensive. i think $2.5 million is expensive in almost anyone's standard. so here, you are putting very
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expensive housing in a city that already has an adequate very expensive housing, which in turn places demands on services. in other words, it will bring in the need for more employees in various areas. what we are not dealing with this is providing housing that is affordable to the middle of the population, the people who will most likely be providing services, which is the underserved area of the community. where the eir is deficient is it fails to look at opportunity costs. in other words, if i had a certain amount of money, do i spend in building a highly complex engineered garage to support luxury condos, or do i put it in developing housing that supports the broader population? from a financial standpoint, clearly, $2.5 million condos win
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the day, but from an environmental standpoint and a net benefit to the quality of life in the city, it may very well be that using those resources elsewhere makes more sense. that is not considered. it is not considered part of the environmental impact, but we are making very significant decisions that by their nature force environmental impacts. in this particular case, they encourage far more transit from people out of the city into the city because they cannot afford to live here. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i am deputy director of the san francisco planning and urban research association. we believe that this draft eir is complete. we believe that the proposed development at 8 washington is a significant improvement for key intersection on the city's
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northern waterfront. it presents a unique opportunity to replace a surface parking lot and private tennis club with pedestrian-friendly publicly accessible open space housing, a renovated space-efficient club, ground-floor retail, and a much needed -- some needed underground parking. all these uses will be consistent with the surrounding area. according to the deir, the development proposed would not obstruct existing public street level of debate. it states that the proposed project would not substantially affect scenic vistas and cynic resources visibility for publicly accessible areas in the project vicinity. we agree with this analysis. incidently, when the project first came forward, i had the opportunity to visit the ferry building and look at the views tiered much has been made of this in this discussion, and as you walk along the embarcadero from the building and look up at
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the tower, the views -- a view is actually obscured a variety of times by palm trees and other buildings. i do not view this as problematic. it seems to me that it is a nice thing when you are walking along the st. pierre finally, i would like to state that we believe that this project would radically improve the pedestrian experience on the western side of the embarcadero. as somebody who lives in north beach and walks the area frequently, i can tell you that the eastern side of the embarcadero is very pleasant, but the western side is not a very fun place to walk, particularly when you come to this particular area right now. you are confronted with a 14- foot high fence that is not very friendly to the street. it is not very friendly for pedestrians, and it is very unpleasant. i would assert from a pedestrian experience, this proposed
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project would be a great improvement. i guess the boo is the new yay, perhaps. i would urge you to review our comments, and thank you very much for the opportunity to speak. commissioner miguel: thank you. >> good afternoon. i have lived on telegraph hill for 45 years. this draft shows that this project will have more open space than the city requires. i am in favor of moving this draft forward and making the waterfront available for all
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with more open space. it certainly is better than the parking lot and the high fence that exists now. thank you very much. commissioner miguel: thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners. i am president of the golden gate way tennis association. our members live immediately adjacent to the proposed construction site, and i am here today to question the completeness of the draft report in two respects. first is to the impact of construction noise in the neighborhood, specifically with respect to pile drivers. the draft report shows that the davis building is located 60 feet away from the construction
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site just across drums street. the report indicates that there will be 27 to 29 months of construction, including seven months of foundation work. there will be pile driving, and the piles will be on average 130 feet long. table one-three states that the impact of the pile driving noise will be significant unless it is mitigated. several mitigation measures are proposed, including pre-drilling to the extent possible, and use of state of the art buffering equipment. information i did not find in the report includes these -- how many piles will be driven? no numbers are provided. how far or too wet death would it be possible to pre-drill the holes for the piles? and finally, what is the number of decibels that would be generated by a pile drivers using state of the art muffling
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equipment? none of that information is present in the draft report, and we ask that that information is available it be included in the final report. i have personal memories of pile driver noise from my childhood. i lived a few blocks from my construction site, and one entire summer for me was taken up by listening to pile drivers 8 hours a day five days a week. i do not want to repeat that, and i do not think any of my neighbors do either. the second area of possible incompleteness has to do with the scheduling conflict between this project and the america's cup. there is now a draft eir for the america's cup, and there are a couple of points in that that might be implemented into this draft report including the proposal to shut down northbound traffic on the embarcadero for some race days. that is shown in figure 6.9. secondly, there is a report of a
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possible chokepoint or bottleneck at the intersection of the embarcadero and washington street. if that is accurate, it would have a significant impact on the construction site for a washington, and that probably should be headed to this report. based on the information we have now, our association is opposed to this. thank you. commissioner miguel: thank you. [reading names] >> thank you. i live in the davis building across from the project. i am going to address one area, the recreation section of the report, which is inadequate.
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in my work as a real-estate agent in marin county, one of the first things that a prospective buyer was given where the ccnr's. they were very important, and they had to sign off on them within 10 days. we have no paper work that suggests how in the world the remaining public facilities are to be operated. the hours of operation. can have membership. will there be limitations on the use by non-resident members, such as exists at san francisco state, and other public institution with limited hours and reservation requirements. all of this is in the four-color brochure and in representations that have been made along the line, but we saw this in the bond crisis. we saw lots of people having